How to report gas prices concerns: Midtown gas station prices cause confusion

Published: May. 27, 2022 at 10:52 PM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - If you’re heading out for the Memorial Day weekend, make sure you’re looking out for gas prices.

You could end up paying more than you think.

An Action News 5 viewer reached out to us about one Midtown Memphis gas station advertising two different prices for gasoline.

She ended up paying more at the pump than she planned and didn’t know where to report it. Now she’s hoping other people won’t make the same mistake.

“As I came down Hollywood, I saw $3.33 cents a gallon and I’m like PA-ching! I’ve hit the jackpot today,” said Memphian Barbara Geater.

At least that’s what Geater thought she paid.

“I pull in get my gas, not thinking anything of it. Knowing it’s a great gas price...not really knowing why,” said Geater. “When I got home, my husband says ‘Hey!’ why’d you pay that much for gas?”

Geater ended up paying almost $62 for gas at a BP station on Summer Avenue in Midtown Memphis.

Turns out, regular unleaded gas was $4.29 a gallon.

“I approached from the side street where you could only see one sign,” said Geater. “From Summer, you can see both of them. From Hollywood, which is the side street, you can only see one of them. I felt like I was duped. I was in a hurry.”

After noticing the signs hadn’t changed weeks after she bought the gas, Geater took her concerns to employees inside. She says they told her, the sign with the cheaper gas stopped working and only BP could fix it. Geater also says employees then told her they couldn’t change the price from inside their store.

But after she pulled off to leave, one of those signs went dark.

We went to the gas station to get some answers. We found out that the price on this sign at the corner of Summer Avenue and North Hollywood has regular unleaded gas at $3.33 a gallon. The price on this sign on Summer Avenue is $4.29 a gallon.

The price at the pump? It’s also $4.29 a gallon.

Employees inside, told Action News 5 they can’t control the digitized signs from inside store and BP is the only one that can change them. They say they’ve reported the problem to BP, Memphis Police and the city to see if they could help.

City officials told us, they don’t have any jurisdiction when it comes to retail pricing for private businesses. Memphis Police also told us they don’t have a report on file at this location in the last year.

Geater says she’d like the wrong sign to be fixed or covered up at least, so other people don’t end up paying more for gas like she did.

“It might not look great to cover up the numbers on your sign,” said Geater. “But it would be a more honest way to do business and once it’s fixed, no problem.”

We did ask to speak to the owner of the gas station, employees told us he wasn’t there. We also left phone number with employees three days ago for the owner. We haven’t heard back.

We also reached out to BP Corporate who told us they don’t operate or own a majority of their sites, but they’re looking into this.

If you have any concerns about possible price gouging, you need to contact the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office.

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